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Series of explosions has Phoenix neighborhood on edge

Posted at 4:38 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 19:18:34-05

A series of explosions are shaking a West Valley community to its core.

"It sounded like a cannon was shot off," said Paul Dhaliwal.

The sound of bombs going off has been reported by dozens of folks living near 35th Avenue and Union Hills since late October.


"Everyone's just afraid," said Batrice Stam. "There's a lot of older people like me who are just afraid because we don't know what's going on."

"We’re all trying to figure out why is this happening, and who's doing it," said Dhaliwal.

Dhaliwal says over the weekend the sound that rolled through his home came from Sunrise Elementary School just down the street.

"I have two kids, six and seven, that go to that school so it's a little unnerving," said Dhaliwal.

School officials promptly sent out an email to parents explaining evidence of an explosion was found by the Phoenix bomb squad just along the school's fence line.

"At least once a week we're hearing them go off and we've been hearing them maybe about six weeks at least," said Stam. 

Stam says she also heard the explosion near the school. She's since heard two others this week. 

"It happened about two weeks ago," said Adan Sanchez walking towards a small crater in front of his home. 

Sanchez lives about two miles from the school where surveillance cameras captured one of these explosions along 35th Avenue and Muriel. 

"If you were close enough to that it's gonna hurt you, it may not kill you but it's definitely going to hurt you," said Sanchez. "Kids ride their bikes by here all the time, when this exploded it threw these rocks everywhere."

And on Monday, another explosion off 27th Avenue and Acoma ripped apart a trash barrel. 

Sanchez works near that area too. 

"It's maybe a mile from my work and I felt it inside my x-ray room, the windows on some of the offices were shaking," said Sanchez. 

The fear around these events has prompted many to take to social media and the local NextDoor app is flooded with concerns. 

Phoenix police say calls have come in from all over, with reports pegging explosions around 43rd Avenue to 27th Avenue between Greenway Road and Union Hills. They say in many cases officers have not been able to locate a source of the noise. However, in a limited number of other cases, detectives have located items of evidentiary value. 

On December 13, Phoenix police released an image of a 'vehicle of interest' in the case.

Phoenix police released an image on Thursday of a 'vehicle of interest' in their investigation.

Now neighbors who call the area home just hope the person responsible is nabbed before something much worse plays out. 

"With no answers, we're basically waiting for it to happen again," said Dhaliwal. 

"Somebody’s gonna get hurt, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," said Sanchez. 

Police are asking the community to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.

If anyone has information regarding these incidents, please contact Phoenix Police or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.